Clark Kerr
2001 SCUP Founders "Casey" Award Honoree

Clark Kerr, a seminal planner for American higher education, died on December 1, 2003. The best source for references to understand the importance of Kerr's unparalleled contributions to higher education planning is on the website of the University of California System.

Clark Kerr was unable to attend the award ceremony in 2001 because he was injured at the time. In his own words, he was "removing a tree" and he "wanted it to go one way but it wanted to go the other"—this at age 90! That was unfortunate for SCUP, but it resulted in a video to treasure, as in his acceptance, Kerr, presents basically the entire history of modern higher education in his 20-minute talk—and also takes on Peter Drucker's prophecies regarding the future of higher education. To view the Clark Kerr award presentation video from SCUP–36, using streaming media, please click here.

Due to demand after the conference, where those assembled at the plenary session gave Kerr a standing ovation, we made Kerr's acceptance video available on CD and VHS. If you would like to purchase a copy of the video on CD or VHS, you'll find both options in SCUP's online store. SCUP members note that you must log in to the online store to qualify for member discounts.

The recipient of SCUP's 2001 Founder's (Casey) Award was Clark Kerr, President Emeritus of the University of California. Kerr was one of the most widely quoted educators of the 20th century and was singularly responsible for devising the Master Plan for Higher Education in California in the 1960s, which became the model for multi-campus systems all over the country.

During his tenure as President of the University of California Berkeley from 1958–67, the university earned the recognition as the most distinguished university graduate center in the US; the new Irvine, Santa Cruz and San Diego campuses were developed; the Master Plan for Higher Education in California was prepared and the University was completely reorganized and decentralized. He was also praised for his work while serving as Chairman for the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education from 1967–73.

Kerr served on committees under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson; chaired Global Perspectives in Education for ten years; and served the Association of Governing Boards from 1977–86.

His publications include The Uses of the University, considered one of the five basic books in higher education according to The Chronicle of Higher Education.

He has been honored by the American Council on Education, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Academy for Educational Development. He holds 38 honorary degrees from various universities including Michigan, Princeton, and Harvard.

Opinion polls have called Clark Kerr "the most influential person in the nation in the field of education," "the person who contributes most significantly to the thoughts and actions of American higher learning," "one of the two persons most influential in American higher education and most admired for creative and insightful thinking." He is also included among "Thirteen Innovators Who Changed Education" in an end-of-the-century survey by The New York Times. Kerr has been the subject of cover stories on noted periodicals such as Time, Business Week, Psychology Today, Change, and The Presidency.